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Every morning we walked hand In hand down this beautiful tree lined street to the nearby Starbucks.  The mornings were crisp but sunny.  We sat outside sipping our warm drinks: Jason coffee, Sonya Chai tea, Ella hot chocolate, and Ariana warm vanilla milk or tea; while enjoying our warm scones and yoghurt parfaits.  Most mornings we found ourselves immersed in photo shoots, taking place all around us, of young couples dressed in elegant party and sometimes even wedding attire. After some investigation, we learned that it was Chinese engagement tradition to take many photos wearing different outfits with a variety of backgrounds and scenery to send out as announcements of their engagement and future wedding plans. Apparently our lovely neighborhood street was one of the most photographed neighborhoods in Shanghai.  We concurred–it was beautifully romantic.

After we assessed that Korea was not the best business venture… We were back in Shanghai.  It was beginning to feel like our home away from home. We were excited to try out a new area referred to as “The French Quarter” of Shanghai.  The hotel was newly built so we essentially had the place to ourselves.  It was lovely and probably my favorite hotel on the trip so far.  It was extremely spacious, but even more; it seemed to have amazing energy.

As we entered the room, we were immediately soothed by the calming natural color pallet. The extra thick, extra soft, wool carpet was a beautiful French blue with an incredible large minimal floral design perfectly framing the enormous extra plump bed; laden with the finest white linens.  The luxurious natural rich walnut furnishings brought about the perfect balance of organic sophistication to the sensual ambiance.  The lighting was like a calming melodic symphony to the eyes and the overall senses. Everything was at a touch of a button, from opening the blinds to setting the mood lighting… Not a beat was missed, brining our hotel experience to a whole new level. Ella loved soaking in the tub while watching the built in flat screen TV in the bathroom. Everything just seemed to flow and feel right.

I am still not entirely sure if this experience was heightened and romanticized because of our frantic fleeing from Korea or if it was as magical as I remember…. Either way it was just what we all needed.

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